I’m always on the lookout for picture books that can easily be set to music or ones that illustrate well known songs. I recently came across a new version of “What a Wonderful World” that is my current favorite of all picture books. It is illustrated by Tim Hopgood. You can see a sample of his fabulous artwork here.
This book stands out for extraordinary illustrations. The pages are full of eye-catching color schemes that vary on each page. The pictures are extremely detailed, but still easy to understand when taken as a whole or as a gestalt. The pages are rich in color and detail but surprisingly not too busy as is often the case with picture books. The book is 11.5 x 11.5 inches, slightly larger than your average picture book and perfect for group sessions.
Being a trumpet player, how could I not prefer Louis Armstrong’s recording of this song over all others? I think it would be fun to present this picture book with the recording as the tempo allows for just enough time on each page and the printed words match the song lyrics precisely.
It would also be great to do some simple sign language while holding the book in your lap and drawing attention to the pictures that illustrate each sign — clouds, rainbow, baby, green, red.
That being said, my favorite way to share this book would be to simply sing it without accompaniment. This would allow opportunities to briefly stop and work on comprehension skills by asking questions and elaborating on the details in the pictures.
What are your favorite music-based picture books? I’m always wiling to add to my collection!